I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am advisor to the President of Shenkar College. In the evening I write children's books, satire, and "how to" manuals ("Mel's ten tips). I'm co-founder of Ourboox and married to Ourboox CEO Shuli Sapir-Nevo.
When I was ten years old it was a very good decade, I wanted to be an astronomer. I had a book about Mars, a chemistry set and real dinosaur bones.
But I ended up becoming an expert on bad breath and body odors. Not rocket science. I smelled about 10,000 mouths, armpits and shoes. Not exactly as planned.
When I was twenty it was a very good decade, I wanted to be a famous musician. I played piano and wrote funny (sometimes off-color) songs combining English and Hebrew. Much later, I became a sax player and singer, and helped kickstart the career of some remarkable singers. I produced two CDs. Played a few local festivals. But never made it big.
When I was thirty it was a very good decade. I wanted to be a scientist and rich inventor. One of my first inventions was a pen for people with no thumbs. It wasn’t a big hit. Other subsequent inventions were actually manufactured, including the Quadloop (together with Prof. Ervin Weiss). It retailed for 2 cents, and 2 percent of 2 cents ain’t much in the way of royalties. Not exactly as planned.
I invented the Diaslide. But I wasn’t careful when writing the patent, and another scientist took the basic idea, circumvented the patent, and created a cheaper product. Not exactly as planned.
Together with Dr. Nir Sterer, we developed a ‘litmus paper’ test for bad breath. Everyone was interested. Everyone, until they learned that the molecule that changes color is just a bit carcinogenic.
Many years later, I persuaded Hagai Cohen to build me a device that allows anyone to ‘water ski on land’. We called it the ‘redseamobile’. We never did get a licence, and it did end up crashing into a dumpster, with a policeman standing right nearby. Not exactly as planned.
I invented a word game even better than Scrabble (below). It’s called Qfor2. My kids played it frequently so I thought it was great and invested money in it. Turns out they were just humoring me. Cost them part of their inheritance.
Actually, the only time I really did succeed was when we invented a two-phase mouthwash for fighting bad breath.
When I was forty I wanted to publish children’s books. I did. I sold some, but ended up giving thousands away (with the generous Evi Wyler).
When I was fifty I wanted to change education, to make it more exciting, relevant, inspirational. Dr. Alon Amit and Hagai Cohen are partners in crime. We try here. We try there.
We’re still trying. Mostly at Shenkar College in Ramat Gan.
When I was sixty I wanted to be an internet hero. Together with Ran Shternin we started Ourboox.com. We have over 100,000 books, aiming for 200,000 by March, 2023. No business model yet. Does that matter?
Here’s one of my early songs from way back then (scroll down for the whole miserable text)
The first time I met you was on דיזנגוף,
Just one look at you, I knew that you were heavy stuff,
But when I smiled and asked היכן את גרה חמדתי ,
You smiled at me and said עם משפחתי
So come on, Nehama Yisraeli,
Leave your mother ובואי איתי,
Come on, I really love you baby,
Leave your little momma ובואי הביתה איתי
The next time I see you on Arlozoroff,
I’m gonna tell you שנשבר לי I’ve had more than enough,